Pentas: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
Africa and Madagascar
Pentas lanceolata makes a pretty plant for a warm house and is best planted out where it will grow into a small shrub bearing its pink starry flowers most during autumn. Cuttings root easily or seed can be sown in spring at 18-21°C (65-70°F). Pinching out the tips of shoots to make the plants bushier will give better specimens with more flower heads. I have never found that pruning these plants is satisfactory as they seem to grow back in a weak straggly fashion. When old plants have become scrappy it is best to have anticipated this and have a new batch raised. Seed of mixed dwarf hybrids is now available which grows into small 45-cm (18-in) high plants ideal for pots. Flower colours are from white through different pinks to red.